Developmental and Educational Psychology
Developmental psychology is concerned with studying the shape of within-person change in central domains of functioning across the entire human life span. Of particular relevance is the identification of antecedent conditions, correlates, and consequences of those trajectories as well as their interrelations and modifiability.
Picture credits: Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz (no. 00010944)
Development is shaped by a variety of different systems of influence, including normative age-graded factors (e.g., maturation, senescence), normative history-graded factors (e.g., secular trends), and non-normative idiosyncratic experiences (e.g., major life events).
Objectives of developmental research encompass:
Direct identification of intraindividual change
How does well-being typically change across adulthood?
Direct identification of interindividual differences in intraindividual change
Do some people experience increases in well-being across adulthood, whereas others decline?
Analysis of interrelationships in behavioral change
How do changes in well-being across adulthood and old age relate to changes in physical health?
Analysis of causes and determinants of intraindividual change
Why is it that well-being is typically stable across adulthood and old age?
Analysis of causes and determinants of interindividual differences in intraindividual change
Why is it that some people experience increases in well-being across adulthood, whereas others decline?